North America, Processing, fries, chips, Trends

Simplot’s Canadian expansion plans promise potato boom

Related imageOn Feb. 14, J.R. Simplot announced an investment of $460 million to expand its potato processing plant in Canada’s Manitoba province. The expansion will more than double the capacity of the french fry plant, thus driving up demand for Manitoba potatoes. Simplot chose to expand in Manitoba because of a number of factors, including the quality of potatoes produced in the province. “(There’s a) strong grower community, availability of highly skilled employees and distribution routes that continue to expand our footprint,” Mark McKellar, Simplot food group president, said in a statement. There may be another reason why Simplot chose to invest in Manitoba. 

The company operates two potato-processing plants in Washington state, and there have been reports of the private company building another facility there. However, Simplot may be backing away from those plans. “There’s more to the story as to why they’re not going ahead with their original plan with that one in the Columbia Basin,” said Kevin MacIsaac, United Potato Growers of Canada general manager. More

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